What can we learn from the Janet Jackson Super Bowl documentary?

Información / Noticias

Información / Noticias / Información / Noticias 470 Views 0

The New York Times and FX special Malfunction revisits the ‘Nipplegate’ scandal of 2004 but adds little new understanding

In January, the New York Times documentary team released Framing Britney Spears, a succinct and bruising retrospective on the pop star’s career and the shadowy legal arrangement that governed her affairs. The 75-minute documentary, which included virtually no new information but offered a cohesive, damning portrait of her treatment by the press, launched a grenade in pop culture. It triggered widespread calls to end her conservatorship, which Spears, 39, later championed (a judge terminated the 13-year arrangement last week); as well as meditations on punishing cultural commentary, callous treatment of mental health, or the hollow, deceptive empowerment proffered by Spears’s sexy teenage image; and a queasy wave of Britney Spears content (including an NYT follow-up, Controlling Britney Spears, that was part retrospective and part, uncomfortably, true crime.

Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson, the latest New York Times documentary for FX on Hulu, aims for the same type of cathartic reframing through an infamous episode of early 2000s pop culture: the baring of Janet Jackson’s breast for nine-sixteenths of a second at the 2004 Super Bowl, and the subsequent cultural firestorm. The 70-minute film follows a similar format to its predecessors – archival footage (including plenty of gag-worthy early 2000s fashion) synthesized with first-person interviews and commentary from cultural critics.

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